Over 70,000 expected at the London Mela

London's greatest celebration of Asian culture this weekend

Related Links

Last year's Mela was a hugely popular event

Full Programme for the Mela

Behind the Scenes at the Theatre - Exhibition at Gunnersbury Park Museum

Bombay Theatre comes to Brentford in new show

The Art Emporium


Where: Gunnersbury Park, London, W3
When: 12pm – 8pm, August 15
Free Entry

This year's London Mela takes place in Gunnersbury Park on 15th August. It is London’s largest celebration of Asian music and culture, and the broadest programmed Asian festival anywhere outside the Indian sub-continent

The family friendly festival will feature hundreds of performers from around the UK and across the world, with an expected audience of over 70,000 people. There is the possibility of heavy traffic around the event as Transport for London is closing the Hammersmith and City line and the Circle line as well as the District line between Whitechapel and Earls Court for engineering work forcing many people who may have used public transport to drive.

The event is being supported by the London Mayor and hosted by Hounslow and Ealing Councils who jointly run Gunnersbury Park

Ealing Mayor Cllr. Gurcharan Singh said, “The second London Mela will feature multiple stages, tented venues and performance spaces showcasing everything from mainstream pop to classical music, cutting edge urban grooves to exciting fusions of eastern and western musical genres."

There will also be heritage attractions, modern and traditional dance performances, extensive children’s and sports activities, a plethora of food and traditional craft stalls a huge funfair and a spectacular carnival-style finale.

Cllr Singh said he was proud to launch the festival and expected it to be even more successful than last year's event adding, "The London Mela is a true spectacular. A tableau of infinite colour and ambitious scale that rejoices in the music, art and culture of the Asian diaspora and the contribution this makes to the rich cultural of the capital."

Ajay Chhabra, London Mela Artistic Director said, “You can expect the finest international talent to be represented – whether they are dancers from the Asia-Pacific, drummers from the Caribbean, or sitar players from Acton, for example, they will all be artists performing at the peak of their abilities.

The finale this year will be ‘Din Shuru’ - meaning daybreak - a spectacular carnival procession within the park boundaries that tells the story of migration from the Indian sub-continent, and explores the Indian influence on contemporary Trinidadian and British carnival.

Full Programme

Main Stage - Sponsored by Sunrise Radio
Pop sensation Raghav, bhangra superstars Stereo Nation, Rishi Rich Project, Shola and the exciting new collaboration, Samsalamat from Pakistan's BJS Qawwali and Manchester's Sambhangra, featuring samba, qawwali and bhangra.

12.10pm-12.50pm: Shola
1.10pm-1.50pm: Udichi
2.10pm-2.50pm: Karnatic
3.10pm-3.20pm: address from Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London
3.25pm-3.50pm: Raghav
3.55pm-4.40pm: Rishi Rich
4.50pm-5.30pm: Stereo Nation
5.50pm-6.30pm: Bollywood strings
6.50pm-7.20pm: Samsalamat
7.25pm-7.30pm: Samsalamat
8.30pm-8.40pm: Samsalamat

Classical Mela - Supported by Arts Council England
Including accomplished classical artists from Delhi and Dhaka and a specially commissioned collaboration evoking freedom and peace performed by Haider, Hanif and Mehboob from Lahore and Mumbai. Compered by Yoggesh.

12.30pm-1.15pm: Raag Mela
1.35pm-2.20pm: The Bollywood Strings Trio
2.40pm-3.40pm: BJS Qawwali
4pm-4.50pm: Raag Mela
5.10pm-6.25pm: Dhaka
6.45pm-7.23pm: Hemant Chauhan
7.37pm-8.15pm: Ustad Chand Afzal

London Flavas -In association with the London Development Agency and Continental Drifts. BBC Radio 1's Bobby Friction and Nihal host the London Flavas stage - presenting cutting edge urban grooves from emerging British artists including DJ Sanj and Zeus.

12pm-12.40pm: Bobby and Nihal DJ Set
12.40pm-1pm: NRG
1.05pm-1.25pm: DJ competition winner
1.25pm-1.45pm: Hardkaur
1.50pm-2.10pm: DJ competition winner
2.10pm-2.30pm: Sona Family
2.30pm-2.40pm: Twilight Players
2.45pm-4.45pm: Envy Soundclash
4.45pm-4.55pm: Twilight Players
4.55pm-5.25pm: Raghev
5.25pm-5.45pm: Bobby and Nihal DJ set
5.45pm-6.30pm: Nasha Crew
6.30pm-6.50pm: Bobby and Nihal
6.50pm-7.35pm: Sonik Gurus
7.35pm-8pm: Bobby and Nihal DJ set

Mela Cabaret - Sponsored by Mumbai Rouge
Presenting an experimental dance and trapeze piece commissioned in collaboration with Circus Space, Croydon Mela's fashion extravaganza, stand-up comedy, a musical adventure with Sister India, and Asian elders reminiscence dance, all hosted by a resident avant-garde ringmaster.

12.30pm-1pm: DJ Mumbai Rouge
1pm-1.10pm: Compere intro
1.10pm-1.40pm: Croydon Fashion Show
1.45pm-2pm: APDA disabled dance group
2.10pm-2.25pm: Dhol vs Tabla
2.30pm-2.45pm: Kirin (Bollywood dance)
2.50pm-3.05pm: Mr Gee (magician)
3.10pm-3.25pm: Jasmine
3.30pm-4pm: Croydon Fashion Show
4.20pm-4.30pm: Jeff Mirza comperes
4.30pm-4.45pm: Circus Space Commission
4.50pm-5.05pm: Sneh Mistry (RnB singer)
5.10pm-5.25pm: Kirin (Bollywood dance)
5.35pm-5.50pm: Dhol vs Tabla
5.55pm-6.25pm: One Unity dance group
6.25pm-6.45pm: Jeff Mirza's stand-up slot
6.45pm-7pm: Circus Space Commission silks and dance
7.30pm-8.15pm: Sister India

Common-Unity Mela - Supported by Arts Council England
Popular sharing of work from London's South Asian communities, from dance to poetry, Bollywood to Kathak. Groups from all over London join local South Asian performers emerging from The Dominion Music Education Centre in Southall to showcase their talent.

12pm-12.20pm: Sitar Fusion presents Traditional Bengali Cultural Show

12.35pm-12.50pm: Ealing Education and Business Partnership present 'Dodgy Fire' (DJ skills, Rapping and Hip-Hop dancing)

1.05pm-1.20pm: Panjabi Centre presents 'Jago' Folk Dance, Bhangra and Punjabi Dance

1.35pm-2.05pm: Honey's Dance Academy presents 'Rakhi Sood and the Diva Dancers' and interactive Bollywood Workshop

2.20pm-2.35pm: Triputi Dance Academy presents Arabic, Semi classical, Bhangra and Bollywood

2.50pm-3.10pm: Awaaz Youth Project and Alluminae present a fusion of Eastern/ Western dance and music

3.25pm-3.55pm: Indu Moudgil Dance School present Bhangra Fusion, Gujarati and Rajasthani music and dance

4.10pm-4.30pm: Punjabi Theatre Academy presents 'Mera Pind-Mera Lok' ('My Village- My People)

4.45pm-5.10pm: Annapurna Music Circle presents 'A Taste of Bollywood Hit Songs and Dance

5.25pm-5.35pm: Alpana Sengupta Dance School presents classical kathak 'DEVDAS' Dance

5.50pm-6pm: Sapnaa Darji presents Solo Bollywood dance 'Sajna Ve Sajna'

6.10pm-6.25pm: Vinesh presents a fusion of Bhangra/ bolly dance and music

6.40pm-7.10pm Bishwo Shahitto Kendro presents a fusion of bi-lingual music, dance and poetry

7.25pm-7.45pm Jay Kumar's Danceasia presents 'interactive bollywood dance session'

Heritage Maidan - Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund
Presenting an exciting programme of classical dance and music performances from leading companies such as Akademi, complemented by workshops in traditional artforms and playing host to displays from museums and galleries, promoting South Asian culture and heritage. If you would like to find out more about the activities taking place in the Heritage Maidan please see the Mela Kahania (pdf), which tells the stories behind the the art. From Kathak to Odissi dance, Mehendi to Daker Saaj crafts, learn the history of South Asian culture by joining the world of Mela Kahania.

2pm- 2.20pm: Madhurang-Kathak
2.30pm-2.50pm: Akademi–Bharatnatyam
3pm-3.30pm: Sangit College
3.40pm-4.55pm: Film and discussion
5.05pm-5.25pm: Akademi-Kathak
5.35pm-6pm: Yeti Nepalese Association
6.10pm-6.55pm: Gurdev Singh music set
7.20pm-7.40pm: Akademi–Odissi
7.50pm-8.15pm: Udichi Schilpi Goshti

Mela Celebrates Street Theatre and Carnival
A world premiere of a new street theatre performance – In the Dhol Drums, the spectacular Din Shuru finale procession and the partners with other cities and presents artists from the Oslo and Edinburgh Melas.

7.30pm: Kinetika presents their spectacular 'Din Sharu' finale procession, celebrating the Indian influence on Caribbean carnival

Giant Fun Fair and Global Markets

Active Mela - Sponsored by Club Asia and the Sikh Times
Be active with water sports, canoeing and traditional Asian sports and martial arts, Gatka, Kabbadi and Kalari Payattu, plus female dance workshops and an alternative space to relax.

Magic Mela
Emergency Exit Arts presents Garuda, alongside all the family favourites including puppetry, arts and crafts workshops, story telling and Save The Children's interactive giant mural.

Business Exchange - Supported by the LDA
A dedicated area aimed at showcasing small and medium sized Asian Business enterprises and the wider business community.

Food Market - Sponsored by NATCO
A scintillating array of delicious South Asian and International cuisine - something for everyone.

March 27, 2004